February 16, 2012

Are you angry yet? You should be.

What the HELL is wrong with people?

This is the year 2012.  We're not in the 1940s, where women were still allowed to be beaten by their husbands for bringing home the wrong kind of coffee.  We're not in the 1960s when women were still having to seek abortions in back alleys and shady doctors' offices late at night and married couples were just starting to have access to the birth control pill.  Supposedly we're more enlightened now, right?  We believe in civil rights, we believe in freedom, we want men and women to be equal in the eyes of the law and in the work force?

Well, someone forgot to tell Congress that it's 2012.  I think they're confused, maybe they've been watching too much Dr. Who and think they've been transported to a century or so ago, when hysteria was a code word for "woman with opinions."

Congressional Birth Control Hearing Involves Exactly Zero People Who Have a Uterus
image courtesy of Jezebel
What's wrong with this picture?

This picture has been going all around Facebook and the internet like wildfire, and with good reason.  What do you suppose this congressional hearing is about?  Take a guess.  Is it:
a) that crazy oil pipeline thing from Canada to Mexico
b) the pay roll tax cut
c) the importance of birth control for women's reproductive health care

Hmm, at first glance, you'd probably think, "Oh, it can't be C.  Those are all stodgy old white men in suits, they don't look like they'd know anything or care anything about women's health care.  It must be A or B...probably B, they look like they're talking about something boring."  Well, guess again.

This was a panel convened to present testimony for a committee regarding the provision of birth control benefits to women under the Affordable Care Act.  The ONLY woman set to testify, a Georgetown University law student, was dismissed by the committee's chairman Darrell Issa as "not qualified" to talk about birth control.  Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, but how the HELL are you qualified to talk about something that affects a uterus?  Do you have one?  (Luckily, you can still see what she has to say here.)

Why are there no women speaking on this panel?  Where are the witnesses who actually USE birth control?  Can these men even describe the various types of birth control?  Are they medical doctors?  Are they reproductive health experts?  It looks like two of them are members of the clergy.

I am SO TIRED of having this discussion.  Why is this discussion being conducted without women's input?  Why do the men in Congress think that women's health is some kind of afterthought, or that something which 99% of women use during their reproductive years (some form of birth control, http://www.guttmacher.org/in-the-know/contraceptive-use.html) is somehow extraneous or not necessary to women's health?  Health care covers Viagra, but 99% of men don't use Viagra.  Wouldn't you think that a service, or a health practice, that affects virtually the ENTIRE female population of this country is maybe important to women's health?

Oh, you don't think so?  You must be in Congress.

This is an outrage, and I'm tired of standing by and watching a vocal minority shape the debate about this issue.  Women are people too, and in fact if you want there to be MORE people, you better watch out because we're the ones in charge of that (you didn't forget, did you?  That's how we got started on this in the first place).  I have to admit, one of the comments I saw in regards to this is that maybe all women should withhold sex and see how long it takes for these men to shape up and figure this out.

If you're not angry about this, you aren't paying attention.  It's been long enough, we've been NICE enough about letting Congress just play around with things that women need for preventive health and we've been making "compromises" to keep everybody happy, but enough is freaking enough!

Get your hands off my uterus, and get your religion out of my vagina!